Ira Davenport (politician)

Ira Davenport
Davenport Ira.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 29th district
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1889
Preceded byJohn Arnot Jr.
Succeeded byJohn Raines
New York State Comptroller
In office
GovernorAlonzo B. Cornell
Grover Cleveland
Preceded byJames Wolcott Wadsworth
Succeeded byAlfred C. Chapin
New York State Senate (27th Dist.)
In office
Preceded byGeorge B. Bradley
Succeeded bySumner Baldwin
Personal details
Born(1841-06-28)June 28, 1841
Hornellsville, New York
DiedOctober 6, 1904(1904-10-06) (aged 63)
Bath, New York
Resting placeDavenport Family Cemetery, Bath, New York
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Katherine L. Sharpe (m. 1887)

Ira Davenport (June 28, 1841 – October 6, 1904) was an American businessman, politician and philanthropist. He was most notable for his service in the New York State Senate (1878-1881), as New York State Comptroller (1882-1883), and a member of Congress from New York's 29th congressional district (1885-1889).

Early life[edit]

Davenport was born in Hornellsville, New York, the son of Ira Davenport (1795-1868) and Lydia Cameron (1800-1842).[1] His family moved to Bath in 1847,[1] and Davenport attended Bath's Haverling Academy and the Russell Collegiate School in New Haven, Connecticut.[2]

Davenport's father owned and operated a large estate and was active in numerous business ventures including stores, farms, lumber, freight transportation, and real estate speculation.[1] After his father's death, Davenport took over management of these enterprises.[1]

Political career[edit]

He was a member of the New York State Senate (27th D.) from 1878 to 1881, sitting in the 101st, 102nd, 103rd and 104th New York State Legislatures.[3] He was New York State Comptroller from 1882 to 1883, elected in 1881, but defeated for re-election in 1883 by Democrat Alfred C. Chapin.[3]

Davenport was a member of the 49th and 50th United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1889.[3] He was the Republican candidate for Governor of New York in the 1885 election, and was defeated by Democrat David B. Hill.[3]

Death and burial[edit]

Davenport died in Bath on October 6, 1904.[4] He was buried at the Davenport Family Cemetery in Bath.[5]


In 1887, Davenport Katherine L. Sharpe (1860-1945), the daughter of State Senator George H. Sharpe (1828–1900).[1] They had no children.[4]


The Davenport family's charitable donations included founding a home for orphaned girls, which was financed by the senior Ira Davenport and his brother Charles, and supported by Ira Davenport Jr.[1] In addition, the Davenports endowed Bath's Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital, which was named after the senior Ira Davenport.[6] The younger Ira Davenport was a founder of the Bath Soldiers' and Sailors' Home and the town's public library.[7]





External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
George B. Bradley
New York State Senate
27th District

Succeeded by
Sumner Baldwin
Political offices
Preceded by
James W. Wadsworth
New York State Comptroller
Succeeded by
Alfred C. Chapin
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Arnot, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 29th congressional district

Succeeded by
John Raines